US to send at­taches to mar­kets to boost dig­i­tal trade

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

The U.S. Com­merce Depart­ment said on Fri­day it would be­gin de­ploy­ing dig­i­tal trade ex­perts in over­seas mar­kets as part of a pi­lot pro­gram in­tended to help U.S. busi­nesses nav­i­gate for­eign In­ter­net reg­u­la­tions when sell­ing dig­i­tal prod­ucts or trans­fer­ring data abroad.

The dig­i­tal at­tachés will rely on "on-the-ground ex­per­tise" to pro­vide ex­port as­sis­tance to firms try­ing to un­der­stand and com­ply with an­other coun­try's In­ter­net poli­cies, such as data lo­cal­iza­tion re­quire­ments, U.S. Com­merce Sec­re­tary Penny Pritzker told Reuters in an in­ter­view. "This is a new area that needs more spe­cial­ized at­ten­tion," Pritzker said.

The pi­lot pro­gram is launch­ing in six to eight mar­kets, in­clud­ing Brazil, China, Ja­pan, In­dia, the Euro­pean Union and the 10-mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions, or ASEAN, a Com­merce Depart­ment spokes­woman said. Each mar­ket will have one at­taché. The United States ex­ported about $400 bil­lion in dig­i­tally de­liv­er­able ser­vices in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the Com­merce Depart­ment.

The at­tachés are mod­eled af­ter the depart­ment's for­eign com­mer­cial ser­vice of­fi­cers who al­ready work to pro­mote trade across other sec­tors of the econ­omy, such as agri­cul­ture and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Pritzker said.

"We'll have some­one in that coun­try, some­one who will un­der­stand the specifics of how to sell your dig­i­tal prod­uct," she said. The move comes as the United States and Euro­pean Union are work­ing to im­ple­ment the so-called Pri­vacy Shield le­gal frame­work that will al­low com­pa­nies to eas­ily trans­fer per­sonal data across the At­lantic. The pre­vi­ous agree­ment, known as Safe Har­bor, was struck down last year by the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice fol­low­ing rev­e­la­tions about U.S. sur­veil­lance pro­grams.

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